TEMPE, Ariz. -- On Monday, while most of his teammates were off, Angels right-hander Joe Blanton continued to be on, giving up just one run in 5 1/3 innings against Cubs Minor Leaguers in his third-to-last start of the spring.
Angels manager Mike Scioscia didn't want his team's scheduled off-day to get his projected No. 3 starter off track, so he had Blanton throw in a Triple-A game on the main field at the Tempe Diablo Stadium complex.
Blanton gave up two hits (one a solo homer), walked none, struck out five and threw some more in the bullpen after being removed with one out in the sixth, putting his final tally at 75 pitches.
In addition to this unofficial start, and a solid three-inning outing that got rained out after he exited, Blanton has given up three runs in seven innings of Cactus League play, striking out four and walking none.
Relievers Ernesto Frieri and Sean Burnett also pitched on Monday, giving up one hit while hurling a scoreless inning each.
"It's about building innings and pitches," said Blanton, the 32-year-old right-hander signed to a two-year, $15 million contract over the offseason. "I try to establish my fastball, make sure that feels good, then make sure my changeup's good, then I go from there with some curveballs and then maybe next outing I'll start mixing in some sliders. Then, when you get into that last start, it's the full repertoire and be ready to go."
Alden Gonzalez is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Gonzo and "The Show", and follow him on Twitter @Alden_Gonzalez. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.